Dispatches | October 26, 2009

Okay, so this post isn’t really about peas, I’ve actually always liked peas. But had I said suddenly I like poems, well, that would have been boring.

But before I get to that, I have to say its pretty crazy over here. As we are cracking into these contest submissions, we’ve got another contest that is about to (kind of already is) on way. Its the third annual Missouri Review Audio & Video Competition, with $4,500 in prize money! Awesome? I think so. If I wasn’t working here, I’d submit for sure. Check out our website for more details.

Lately I’ve been reading a gross amount of material. I don’t want to count pages, but one intern here has estimated by now we’ve each probably read about 1 million words (in 8 weeks, I’m skeptical, but only because I don’t trust my math skills).

It could be from all this reading, that my tastes have changed, or it could be that as I accumulate life experiences I just begin to see things differently.

It used be, for a long time anyway, that I did not like poetry. I’ll let you in on a secret: it used to be, that I thought poetry was mostly shallow, and that being called ‘poet’ was often times an insult.

And I thought I was in the right. I had a habit of fixating on a line, dissecting the poem. I would pinch a noun and watch the adjunct adjectives dangle helplessly. And when I did that, the words just seemed too dramatic.

I still do that from time to time. I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing, but what I also do, more often than before, is read things aloud, and when it comes to poetry, what a world of difference that makes!

I used to only really enjoy something edgy, a good beat poem, or even a little Bukowski. But now, its anything good and truthful.

And I have to say I love what’s coming out today. In our last issue, we published Traci Brimhall. I loved her piece, ‘American Pastoral’. Something about that piece just makes me want to cry, yes that’s it! I highly recommend it.